Friday, April 3, 2009


This very hour, this very day one year ago, I was kissing my husband good-bye, fighting tears, and going through the steel doors of the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac near Seattle. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life. Every thing was stripped from me. I got to keep my glasses, and that was it. But I did still have my body and my mind and my spirit. And I knew I had a choice. I could choose how I would live in that environment and I could choose what I wanted to learn and bring out of that experience.

What a difference a year makes. It's Spring again in Wyoming, with all the heavy wet snows and the budding trees and the tiny green leaves of daffodils waiting patiently for their blanket of whiteness to melt. And I get to look back and reflect on a year unlike any other.

Such joy and such sorrow and such growth. How could I know that when I said good-bye to my Mom sitting in her blue recliner that it would be the last time I would ever see her in her home? The day I was released from jail, she went into the hospital and died 13 days later. And how much joy was felt when almost a year later, my oldest daughter married her love.

But the growth has not been without the pain. I am not comfortable now. I question more, have less patience with the wrongs in the world and wonder, more then ever, where my place in all of it should be.

I continue to try and read the signs. I have a new job, working a few hours a week at a clinic for the homeless. I consider the clients fellow pilgrims, who add joy and hope to my world. I write to prisoners and gather books for them and try not to forget that one out of every 31 adults in this country is in jail. And I returned to Georgia last Fall to continue my commitment to close down the School of the Americas. And I was witness to six new people who came forth and non-violently stood up and challenged injustice. They are currently serving their time in prison.

I am optimistic about this country of ours. I feel that justice and peace are more possible now then ever, and I am confident that this economic crisis will improve. As my 67th birthday approaches, I thank the Spirit for allowing my journey to include a side trip behind those steel doors. There are all kinds of gifts. Who would know that one of the greatest gifts was given to me one year ago this very hour when the doors clanged shut, leaving me locked inside.

Pax Tecum